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Top food and farm stories of 2013

Message from Kathy Siefken, Nebraska Grocery Industry Association

The continuing goal of our Farmer Goes to Market program is to bring you farm-related news you're not getting from the other mainstream media outlets. Nowhere else have grocers been able to turn for perspective to help explain the year's contentious and confusing issues to consumers. Since its introduction, Farmer Goes to Market has helped re-acquaint the grocer who sells food with the farmer who grows it. In an atmosphere of information. Without sales promotion. The goal is simple: Explain the issues so you can discuss them with shoppers.

Please take a minute to review our top most-read stories of 2013. They not only review some of the most important farm and food issues of the year, but also foreshadow some of the important ones to come. Thanks for reading. And, as always, I welcome your thoughts on this project.


Kathy Siefken
Executive Director
Nebraska Grocery Industry Association


Sponsored by your Nebraska Grocery Industry Association
Nebraska's soybean farmers are proud to bring you this information to help answer customer questions
Nebraska soybean farmers and their checkoff are proud sponsors of the Farmer Goes to Market program, realizing that this program provides an integral link in the food system chain. The information provided in this newsletter is a key step in our educational initiative, providing consumers with information on our effort to provide them with a safe, affordable, abundant food supply.


An educational program produced by Food-Chain Communications and delivered to members of the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association. Farmer Goes to Market was established in 2008 to help bridge the growing gulf between today's grocery retailer and today's farmer, empowering them with full-chain knowledge to carry agriculture's true message to food consumers.


We take great pride in supporting Nebraska's agricultural foundation
The farm and ranch families represented by Nebraska Farm Bureau are proud sponsors of the Farmer Goes to Market program. We take great pride in supporting Nebraska's agricultural foundation. A key part of that effort is to make sure we produce safe and affordable food. This newsletter is an important part of our effort to connect the two most important parts of the food chain -- the farmer and the grocer -- with the goal of increasing consumer awareness and information about how their food is raised in Nebraska.


Foresight on Food Politics:
Six Logical Questions to Ask about
Mandatory GMO Food Labels

Six questions to ask before demanding GMO labels Demands to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms continue to grow louder. The issue is definately not going away.


When shoppers have questions about this divisive issue, consider these six questions Farmer Goes to Market suggested grocers should ask before deciding whether labeling is a good idea, or bad.  Click here to revisit this important analysis of a less-than-simple issue.  


Translating Food Technology:
What is 'Ractopamine,'
and What Does it Do?

What is 'ractopamine?'

A series of events in 2013 combined to bring the additive known as "ractopamine" to the spotlight. First, foreign buyers announced they were closing their borders to U.S. pork over concerns about the feed additive. Second, a similar product was pulled from the U.S. beef cattle market over concerns it could be harming cattle. It all added up to the potential to turn this decade-old product into the next "pink slime." Exactly what is ractopamine, and should your shoppers be concerned about its use? Click here for the popular Farmer Goes to Market food-technology briefing we provided on the subject.   


Navigating the New Food Movement:

Five Risks You're Taking
with Your All-Important Credibility 

You're risking your credibility Grocers look to add value to categories by adopting the language of some questionable label claims. From "raised without antibiotics" to "hormone-free" to "free-range," food marketers aren't shy about testing the waters of product labeling. But it's important to remember the No. 1 reason shoppers choose a store is confidence and trust in your brand. Click here to see at least five potential risks you could be taking when you ask shoppers to trust you regarding the misinformation flying around about food and farming.
Competitive Commodity Information:
The Decline in Number of Nebraska
Cattle Ranchers has some Deep Roots
Why would anyone get back in the cattle business?
Even through past droughts worse than last year's devastating dry spell, Nebraska cattle ranchers have hung tough and stuck it out. But there's a new demographic at work today that could threaten the longterm viability of this American institution and change the dynamics of beef supplies. Click here to read one industry watcher's unique look at why his friend, a cattle rancher, has decided it's time to "head to the house."

On the Lighter Side:
Now More Than Ever,
it's Time to Get a Roboplow!          

Just in time for snow: ROBOPLOW! Watch this video again as Farmer Goes to Market celebrates the genius of man born out of a universal resolve to get out of hard work.      

Meet your Farmers:
This Randolph Farmer Explains
the Value of Farm Exports

Tour this Nebraska farm
Revisit with Mike Korth, a soybean farmer from Randolph, Nebraska, who sat down to talk about the importance of exports to the Nebraska soybean industry.
Plus! Catch up with these
all-time most read stories
from the archive


Click here for more details on today's Food Morality Movement